The People's Perspective on Medicine

Turmeric Triggered Allergic Reaction

Despite an exciting range of health benefits, turmeric can cause bad reactions for some people.

Q. I think I am having an allergic reaction to turmeric. After taking it for two days, I have broken out in red spots all over my stomach.

I have been taking Benadryl pills every four hours for a day. How can I get relief?

A. If you have stopped taking the turmeric, the reaction should fade. Some people are allergic to turmeric and must avoid it. Years ago, a reader offered this report:

“I am always interested in the arthritis remedies I find in your column. After reading that turmeric could help, I bought some and took the pills according to directions. Several days later I had such a terrible rash that I had to go to the doctor for prednisone. I’ll never do that again!”

It is worth remembering that nearly any compound may trigger reactions in some individuals. Now that you have discovered that you don’t tolerate turmeric, you’ll need to avoid taking it. You may also need to be wary of foods such as curry and yellow mustard that can contain significant amounts of turmeric.

Other readers have experienced unwelcome interactions between curcumin (an important component of turmeric) or the spice itself in combination with warfarin. Here is JM:

“I am taking warfarin. I had an elevated INR after having two meals of curry in an Asian restaurant. I discovered the advice not to consume turmeric in a book by the People’s Pharmacy concerning food and natural remedies. I think this is what caused the INR elevation.

“I belong to Kaiser and told their Coumadin Clinic after I had stopped eating curry and had a normal result, but the person there (probably a pharmacist) did not agree and said I could consume curry, since it was probably a small amount.

“I will tell my doctor. I believe it is true and do not plan to consume curry, since it will lead to being tested more often. The previous contact at the Coumadin Clinic thought it was due to diarrhea, but that has not been a big problem lately. Unfortunately, I am on a gluten-free diet, and the curry dishes were the majority of the gluten-free dishes in the restaurant.”

We do worry about an unexpected rise in INR (International Normalized Ratio), since it could be a red flag for dangerous bleeding.

Another reader on a different anticoagulant, clopidogrel, also reported a reaction. This is what Jill said:

“I had a reaction to Plavix and turmeric — a big surprise, as I didn’t know about an interaction. I began bleeding at the slightest scratch. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, as I often didn’t even feel it. I was taking high-grade turmeric capsules. I wish I could take turmeric instead of Plavix, as I can’t use NSAIDs and have arthritis. “

Animal research suggests that regular use of turmeric might also raise the risk of kidney stones (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May, 2008), though we have not heard from any visitors that they have experienced this dreadful complication.

You can learn more about the beneficial uses of turmeric from our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It is available as part of a holiday gift bundle through December, 2014.

Rate this article
4.2- 53 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
Tired of the ads on our website?

Now you can browse our website completely ad-free for just $5 / month. Stay up to date on breaking health news and support our work without the distraction of advertisements.

Browse our website ad-free
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

comments (101 total)
Add your comment

Just tried adding turmeric to my diet to help with inflammation and pain. Within a short time my chronic pain has spiked as well as an overall feeling of weakness through my body. I can’t find any other side effects to match this from anyone else, but turmeric is the only new thing added to my diet.

Taking 1 tsp turmeric in oatmeal with a little black pepper for over a year. No obvious allergic reaction, however diagnosed with candidia in bowel and supposed leaky gut. Allergy testing
revealed strong positives for many foods, which is consistent with leaky gut. Naturopath believes gluten set it all off. Have had zero tumeric for a year but now brain fog and arthritis is alive and well again. Any ideas for combating this?

I have been taking turmeric in liquid form daily for maybe a year. Until recently felt great on it. But then suddenly out of the blue a week ago, I came up in a nasty rash with lots of big hives, on buttocks, thighs, the arms, hands and feet. It itched like crazy. The strange thing would be that it only came on when rising after a nights sleep, when my blood started to circulate … and after a few hours would settle down again, and then be back the next day! It took me a week before I started associating it with the Turmeric, and this was down to me feeling mostly well, and thinking that if it was a Virus I would feel worse.

Something just told me to check out side affects of Turmeric, and when I did the first thing I saw was HIVES, and this fitted so well. So no more Turmeric for a long while, or maybe never depending on how and if the rash returns! Hope this helps others. Turmeric products should come with information that you are not supposed to take it longer than 8 months!! I appreciate that some people reacted badly to it straight away, but for me it was an accumulation of taking it for a long period of time.

After eating Turmeric in curry last night my tongue became slightly swollen, red and sore wirh enlarged bumps on it. I was also nauseous and felt pretty awful.I took an antihistamine and went to bed. Better this AM but still have sore tongue! No more Turmeric for me!

I have taken turmeric capsules for five years to curb the pain in my arthritic thumb joints. After successive acupuncture treatments during the same time frame improved my thumbs, I stopped. That was three weeks ago, and I have had hives on my back, my neck, under my arms and on my thighs. I cannot come up with another reason and have never had anything like this. So I have restarted turmeric thinking it must have masked a skin issue when I took it earlier. Any ideas?

I have been taking turmeric pills for a week straight now, and for the past few days I felt like I couldn’t swallow. It felt like I had a lump inside my throat. The second day it felt worse. I drank water the entire day and didn’t take the turmeric today. As of 3:21 A.M., I feel a little better. Drank lots of water, and I will never take these pills ever again. Come to find out my throat could have closed. Am most definitely allergic. Could have died for all I know.

I was taking Instaflex Advaced for knee pain ( contains Turmeric) and then developed small red bumps/rash. Stopped taking it and rash symptoms disappeared after several days.

I’ve been adding powdered turmeric to my cooking for over a year now. Apparently the powder is more effective when used in cooking than the tablet form.

I’ve noticed several positive results from using turmeric but just recently I’ve noticed diarrhoea, dizziness and a hot face. It’s possible that these symptoms have been caused by something else but I researched turmeric side effects, just to be safe and it led me here.

I truly hope it’s not the turmeric because turmeric has really helped me, and I know that sentiment is echoed by several others on this site.

I wonder if a better course of action would be to take regular breaks from using turmeric, even if there are no side effects. I’d also be interested to know if reactions to turmeric are rare.

I started taking turmeric capsules about 10 weeks ago. developed a rash around my bra area that was slightly itchy. This has now increased to my upper body, arm and upper thighs. It is incredibly itchy. I stopped taking the turmeric a week ago but the symptoms as yet have not stopped.,Does anyone know how long it will take to get out of my system

You have a fungus, possibly ringworm or related, easy to get rid of; need to get the rash dry and use Clotrimazole Topical creme.

After reading the posts about allergic reactions to Turmeric, I noticed that everyone took capsules and not the Golden Paste. I’m wondering if it may be something built into the capsule form of Turmeric, black pepper combo? Perhaps something added to extend shelf life or something that keeps it from clumping? Could the cooked, Golden Paste with coconut oil or any of the other recommended oils prevent some of the bad reactions?

I have had a severe allergy to what I thought was the
Turmeric that I had been taking. It turns out that it was
the bioperene added to the Turmeric, which is black
pepper! I am very allergic to black pepper!! Who knew ??

After taking 3 turmeric tablets with ginger and piperine a day for five days I genuinely felt 10 – 20 years younger. My whole body became much more strong and flexible, it was like a miracle. However, a week later I suddenly developed an intensely itchy raise rash over my neck, throat , shoulders ,chest and upper arms, also the skin around my mouth and nose started peeling off and bleeding. I stopped the turmeric four days ago and am still waiting for and hoping that my skin will return to normal. I can only think that it is the turmeric that has caused it, but I am extremely upset that something that gave me such a drastic physical benefit might also be responsible for the rash. Does anyone know of an alternative that may be as helpful?

I took Tumeric for approximately 2weeks. Noticed my hand itched but didn’t think anything of it. . One evening I took an NSAID because I had joint pain. Within a few hours I was in the ER with anaphylaxis and angeioedema. Thought it may have been a food I had eaten. Kept getting breakthrough angioedema reactions even though I was on a steroid dose pack. Discovered it was the Tumeris that was causing the issue. Also had angioedema in my esophagus which felt like I was having a MI ( heart attack). Now I wonder if I am also allergic to NSAID drugs . My allergist recommends staying away from then and not doing a challenge since I had such a severe reaction. Symptoms did not completely disappear for 3months. Continue to take antihistamine because I can sometimes experience slight hand itching. MD says mast cells are hyperactive now and need time to loose sensitivity.

I started taking Turmeric with black pepper to help ease my migraines and inflammation since I can’t take NSAIDs. It started off fine but after a couple of weeks I noticed the tip of my nose and the second toe on my feet became tingly and progressed to being numb. The symptoms cleared and finally stopped after stopping turmeric. I did a second challenge test, and the symptoms returned. I again stopped the turmeric, and again the symptoms abated. It’s such a shame, as my migraines improved while on the turmeric but the tingling and numbness were unbearable.

I have been taking turmercin to help with joint pain for five weeks. Last week I broke out in an alarming rash radiating from my abdomen to my chest, neck, back & arms. The only difference in my diet has been the turmeric compound & I have never been allergic to anything in the past, so I was incredibly suprised! I have only stopped taking it for two days, so hopefully that will alleviate the allergic symptoms in due course. I was not aware that this could happen & as my body tolerates almost everything, I’m stunned that this is not highlighted accordingly!

I just started taking tumeric in capsule form. I took it with my c,e, calcium,& magnesium. All of the sudden I felt like my face was on fire, I look like I have a sunburn. Is this from tumeric?

Started taking 450mg of Tumeric tablets with peperine and cucumin and after a little while started experiencing heart palpitations with dizziness – also my blood pressure reading was on the high side. Took me some little while to question whether it could be the Tumeric, so I immediately stopped taking the Tumeric tabs and have not experienced these symptoms again – also my blood pressure reading has returned to normal.

Yes I started taking 450mg of Tumeric tabs with peperine and curcumim and started experiencing dizziness and palpitations – my blood pressure reading was also higher. Immediately stopped taking it and not experienced any dizziness or heart palpitations. Blood pressure readings now normal

I took One capsule ofTumeric/Black pepper And within a few minutes I went into Anafalactic shock. Lucky I have an Epi-Pen and was able to stop it I have to have one on hand because I have a allergy to SOY-Protien also Penicilin, now this!!! I always learn the hard way.

I have been taken tumeric for about a year and I keep breaking out in my face and neck. I am getting big red welts around my eyes and my mouth. When it dries, it becomes hard and seems to peel. I never thought about a connection with tumeric as I have a nickel allergy too. So I just always thought it is the nickel. But the past month I didn’t wear any jewelry at all and I am still breaking out. So now I think it might be the tumeric.

Wow I too took a capsule of tumeric yesterday and felt like I couldn’t breathe. It felt like I was dying. Wow

I started taking 3100 units of turmeric (1 tablet a day). Within a week I had terrible pain in my eye. I have had right angle closure glaucoma surgery in this eye. The optometrist could find nothing wrong with the pressures and back part of my eye. Terrible headaches felt like eye strain. I have stopped the turmeric as it was the ONLY thing I had done differently, and within 3 weeks, the symptoms have stopped, and the eye has returned to normal. I won’t be taking any more turmeric!

About 6 months ago, after hearing that turmeric can help with arthritis I purchased it in tablet form from the pharmacy and commenced taking it. That night I suffered severe stomach cramps. It wasn’t until I experienced another painful sleepless night that I realized it was the turmeric. A couple of days ago I purchased a packet of hummus chips and tucked into them. Stomach cramps again and upon reading the packet I found the culprit – flavored with turmeric. No more turmeric for me!

So I have systemic Lupus and have taken Turmeric 1 teasp/daily for 5 year, and 1 year ago started a rash on my face. Doc said either Lupus rash or rosacea (or both).
I have tried all the lotions/foams for rosacea, but makes rash worse. Also tried Doxycycline pills for 30 days.

I follow the INFLAMMATION FREE DIET in book by Monica Reinegel for 11 years with great results for body pain, but rash on face is still there. So now I am stopping Turmeric to see if better. I am 73 years old and in good health otherwise.

So what are you doing for the pain now if I may ask?

Yes I too seem to have had a reaction to Turmeric. Thinking it would help with some joint problems I had, I started taking the pills, and next thing I was itching from head to toe. Thinking maybe I was a bit stressed out at the time I kept up the Turmeric but once stress levels had gone the itching became so intense. Finally woke up to the fact it was the supplements I was taking. I am off them now and trying to flush them out by drinking a lot.

I took Tumeric with black pepper capsules for three days. 500 mg in the morning with food. It was great for joint inflammation. Only problem was it caused a rash at my nape hairline and gave me acid reflux while sleeping and made my throat sore from this. I had also allergy symptoms like hay fever. I quit and the problems went away. I believe it hampered my sleep also. So sad, it worked great for the arthritis.

I have been adding fresh turmeric root to soups I make in my Vitamix.

My face has red swollen blotches that ooze, harden, then peel…on my forehead, under my eyes, and on my mouth at the cheek folds.

I have many allergies and feel sure after reading these comments that turmeric is contributing to this allergic reaction.

I am applying Benadryl cream, hydrocortisone and plan to take Benadryl tonight. When I have these flare ups it takes a week or more for it to improve.

No more turmeric for me! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

I am 76.

I started taking Tumerick about one week ago, I have been itching severely and now I have a rash on my backside. After reading all these comments I am sure it is the Tumerick, I am going to discontinue it and see if it will help you decide to fix that I am having.

Started taking CuraMed curcumin capsules 500 mgs. about 3 weeks ago….have become allergic to zylocaine and a previously tolerated antibiotic. I’ve never been allergic to anything before! Plus since I was taking the curcumin for recurring UTI, I didn’t connect a cat pee smell and burning urination to the curcumin, but the burning symptoms spread to the whole inside of my body. Now I’m sure it is the curcumin that’s to blame and CuraMed isn’t cheap! The UTI isn’t worse, but the side effects from curcumin are awful….will discontinue immediately. I never experienced the inside burning sensation before with UTI……like a horrible systemic heartburn.

I started taking turmeric recently, initially with yoghurt but then decided to move onto pills from the local heath food shop.

Taking this regular dose of turmeric seems to have coincided with a steady build up of what I can only describe as small pimples, predominantly on my chest and stomach. This evening I just checked in the mirror and it was worse than I thought, as though the front of my body has been attacked by a mosquito.

I’m going to cease the turmeric supplement immediately and will see if things improve. It’s a bit frustrating to say the least… turmeric seemed potentially really beneficial.

I spoke recently to my arrhythmia doctor re an itch and he felt I was using too much amyodarone and cut my dose in half.
But I had recently started with turmeric capsules and felt it was that. I would have an intense itching on my arms and hands. So bad I would tear off my shirt and hold my arms under cold running water. There was no visible rash, just the intense itch!
So I also quit the turmeric and the itch stopped!

I have been taking 1 capsule daily of turmeric for joint pain and inflammation for just about 2 weeks. However, about 6 days ago I started getting a very itchy rash on my face, with pimple-like spots that are red and blotchy, and now my forehead is also getting big itchy red bumps. I am constantly itchy. Ugh!

I was so hopeful for this to help me. My husband is from India and we consume turmeric cooked into many curries and I never had a problem before. I also hadn’t taken a daily does of this more concentrated version of it. Knowing there can be an allergic response helps and I will discontinue it immediately to see if it clears up.

I just Googled ‘allergy to turmeric’ and found this thread. Thanks for your comments. Twice in the last month I have had an allergic reaction, which I now believe to be caused by turmeric. The first time, whilst eating a vegetable curry, I felt a fizzing sensation go from head to toe and my skin got bright red, blotchy and very itchy, and it felt like chillies had been rubbed all over me. My breathing eventually became more difficult and I was given oxygen, plus prescribed Prednisone and Cetirizine for 5 days. Subsequent food allergy testing came back negative for loads of foods but then 2 days ago I made a smoothie and added fresh turmeric. The burning sensation, itching and redness started again. My husband quickly got me a Cetirizine tablet and it didn’t spread, though the itching, redness and burning took a while to go away. I will avoid turmeric from now on.

Can I be allergic to neem, aloevera, honey and turmeric? I have had raches and itching after using those as face packs. What should I do?

I took 3 turmeric capsules over 2 days, noticed a rash on my stomach and stopped taking. 2 days later I woke up with swollen eyes and forehead and hot red rash under my arms and across breasts. Now , 2 days later,the skin on my forehead is peeling, as if burned. eyes still swollen and angry welts on my stomach. I’m drinking loads of water to flush it out. It’s been 5 days since I stopped taking it.

Pls people, I started taking tumeric and almonds a few days to aid my Diet, but I aslo began experiencing severe itching. Close to one you have if u react to some anti-malaria.
Seeing this post am suspecting I might be reacting to tumeric.
Any advise pls.

I was taking turmeric and yogurt. I have had very itchy eyes and itchy face at times. Could this be from that?

Nuts are one of the most common allergens. I’d stop the almond milk.

While trying to improve my health, I, also am having an allergic reaction to turmeric. My face has hugh, red knotty spots that itches, skin becomes very rough and it seems like the spots are turning into sores. I also am developing a few on my lower and upper arms as well – very itchy. Yesterday was my last day in taking it. I don’t usually have problems with my skin so I am very disappointed to have something like this to occur. Can anyone tell me what I can use on my skin to help it and how long it will take for it to get back to normal?

I have been taking a turmeric supplement with 10 peppercorns as was recommended. It does seem to help with pain of arthritis but after a couple of weeks I developed a stinging, burning rash under my chin and on my neck. I have experienced hives in the past several times for unknown cause. I stopped taking the turmeric and the rash went away after 3 or 4 days. I have then tried taking it again and broke out with the rash again after about a week. I have decided it is definitely the cause of the rash and am not going to take it again.

I started taking a plain tumeric supplement about 2 months ago as a trial for arthritis aches. I ran out and finally purchased one with black pepper that helps absorption. The suggestion was two 500 mg tabs twice daily. I only took one daily. I also am developing stomach and upper thigh break outs. It currently does not seem itchy. So today will be my last one. I may retry the plain tumeric just as an experiment to clarify the allergy.

I got small dots like pimples because of this kasturi turmeric powder. It’s itchy, too.. How to solve this?

Last year I had an allergic reaction to Tumeric and stopped using it. I decided to try it again and only used a little but again even with using such a little bit my joints became painful and my throat began to close up. I am so disappointed .

I drank milk with a 1/2 teaspoon of golden milk ( tumeric and black pepper ) that I bought at home foods. First 3 days ok. Then all of a sudden an hour after taking it tonight I started itching and turning red like a sunburn. Even my eyeballs are red . Took some Benadryl. Hoping this is the worst of this. Very scary. So glad I saw all the other comments.

I had a similar experience to many here like Minderella and Josephine. I took one turmeric capsule a day for three days and noticed some severe rashes. I stopped taking the capsules and the rashes are slowly subsiding, but only very gradually. It has been two weeks and I am still itching and applying calamine lotion, which helps…

Ok, so this is making sense but after reading all the reports I would like to add mine and get some feedback:

For a number of months, maybe 6, not sure, I have been experiencing, for lack of a better word, “acne” & Rosacea (diagnosis of doctor). The gels perscribed haven’t worked yet. My face is a bright red color with dry eczema-type rashes and then eruptions of giant red spots that turn into sores that take forever to heal. I have always had beautiful, clear and trouble-free skin on my face. I don’t wear make-up –never have–and do not use tons of skin care products. I use Castile soap with a light application of coconut oil (organic cold-pressed).

So I am wondering if this could be a mild form of an allergic response to turmeric. I was taking two capsules a day for arthritis but found an odor build-up that was very noticeable to me as well others. so I reduced it to one turmeric capsule a day. The odor is now undetectable but the facial redness, and eruptions have not ceased. I do not experience any of the other symptoms reported in this thread but I am still wondering if turmeric is my problem. If so, what can I take for the arthritis and memory that will benefit me?

Earlier this year I had serious atopic dermatitis from coating my face with organic coconut oil. My doctor said some people can be allergic to it on the skin but may be able to ingest it without a noticeable reaction.

Regarding the turmeric, I took 1,000 mg for the first time today then had uncontrollable diarrhea about 8 hours later. I had been itching on my abdomen and thigh before the big event. My gown has bright orange-red stains.

I had a TKR with complications and ended up with 4 surgeries. I just got my turmeric yesterday and took 1 capsule with my lemon water, cinnamon and honey. This morning I woke up and my eyes are nearly swollen shut and my face is all puffy. I think I need to discontinue

I have been taking turmeric for about a month an half or so! All of a sudden I have been having allergic reactions to something. Starts with face burning an continues down whole body. I look like I have been badly sunburned. Could this possibly be caused by the turmeric? I take it t night. An all reactions have happened during morning hours. Have never been allergic to anything before an I am 64.

You certainly could be having a reaction to turmeric. We suggest discontinuing it right away.

My husband’s lips started staying chapped a lot. He had to put chap stick on them every 30 minutes through out the day. He also got swollen lips. I have not read that anyone else has had this problem. He is going to stop taking Turmeric and see what happens.

We are in the ER right now. My wife already had hives and was recommended to try Tumeric with almond milk, took a small teaspoon in the almond milk and the itching, redness, swelling of the lips, they gave her benidril and then epinephrine. I don’t recommend trying this without medical advice.

In 2015, my husband had red swollen lips. My lip corners were irritated with tiny splits. We were very much puzzled why? And then we realized that we were having spicy Indian foods at a restaurant once a week at that time for a while. We stopped having yellow curry sauced foods. I am sure Turmeric was in the sauce.

I have been taking 1 teaspoon of Turmeric, 3 times a day (not a measuring spoon ,It’s more like 1 1/2 teaspoons) for 5 months. My hair is growing out my natural colour, starting at the back and working it’s way up to the top of my head. It’s about 30% my natural colour on top.

I broke out in a rash, big red blotches under my breasts and abdomen. I’ve never had a rash like this before. I am 63yrs old. I quit taking Turmeric because of the rash.
My sister and my dad have been taking Royal Red brand of Omega3 and Krill Oil 500mg 3X daily for about 3 months with better results. The proper dose is 1,000mg 2X a day.
My dad is 84yrs old.

His hair has grown out his natural colour from the back to the top of his head. On top it has grown out his natural colour all down the center including his widow’s peak. Where he was bald hair is growing out it’s natural colour.
I chose to take Turmeric because it’s much cheaper and I love the taste. Needless to say, I am now taking the Omega3 and Krill oil.

Two weeks ago I upped my low maintenance dose of turmeric supplement twice a week to twice a day to help with morton’s neuroma. I broke out in very itchy hives yesterday – traveling all over my body. Have never had them before and nothing has changed in my diet so I do suspect the turmeric…but I’m not sure. Needless to say stopping the turmeric all together and seeing what happens!

I used to eat turmeric in regular food amounts with no apparent reaction. When I tried taking capsules of it for joint pain to reduce my inflammation, my asthma got worse. It happened whenever I took the capsules (tried two different brands) so I stopped with the capsules.

But now, I react to turmeric in food as well, even tiny amounts, whether I cook it myself or it is already included in the foods (and it is in a lot of things now for the yellow coloring!) My throat swells up and it affects my breathing.

Please let me know if stopping the turmeric was the cause
Thanks you

Yep – sadly have had the same kind of reaction to turmeric. Have been taking a low dose for a couple of years to help with arthritis (which it does). However all the time I have had itching problems in my groin which come and go. Doc prescribed Ciclopirox olamine for ‘fungal growth’ which helped but it kept coming back. My supplier brings out a new ‘super strength liquid’ Turmeric and I start on that at a low dose and ‘wham’ the itching goes crazy – I stopped it after a week and low and behold the itching goes away. Have stopped altogether now but hey ho the arthritis is starting up again …… such is life in this world, the next will be better !

I started taking Turmeric last week and did not have a problem for several days, then all of the sudden, I had severe itching deep in the flesh of my abdomen that scratching would not reach.

It was totally miserable, to say the least. Yesterday and today, I have not taken Turmeric, given the thought perhaps it was the cause of the itching, and today I have not had the itching problem at all. I lost 2 nights sleep because of the itching.

I tried using an ice pack to see if I could get relief, without success throughout the first night of lost sleep. I could not even be still; the itching was constant. I don’t know if it was the Turmeric or not but all I can say for sure is that I have not had a problem today. I don’t know if I want to try again or not.

I took 1,000 mg’s of turmeric for the first time for 2 weeks to see if it would help with the pain I have from degenerative artheritis, no ther changes in meds or anything, and of course it was a cheap brand, out of the blue one day I woke up and my eye’s looks like a bug had bitten all around them , puffy and itchy, also inside my ears and mouth were itchy, so I am going to stop the turmeric and start taking benadril…..thank you much people for the tips. I have no other allergies to anything that I know of and I am 51

Swollen throat and tongue from turmeric.

I tried taking super bio curcumin and the following evening I felt like I was withering and dying. I felt weak and trembly. I carried on taking it for a week before I twigged it. I tried Curcumin 95 supplement and it did the same. Ground turmeric is OK and I’ve tried taking fresh turmeric root tea and so far so good. My Mother has Alzheimer’s so I don’t want to go the same way and they do say that turmeric is the best treatment.

If I eat, even a small amount of turmeric, my tongue swells and my throat tightens. I have been like this all of my life and avoid Indian sauces, curry etc. Within 20 minutes my body gets rid of it – if you know what I mean?! The last time I had a bad food reaction was with a Paella in Spain (my favourite food). Turns out that they sometimes add turmeric too it. I have a mild reaction to mustard – had no idea that contained turmeric!

This has been a very interesting one for me. About 6 months ago I started with what was a seemingly normal allergy to something. Started as itchy palms. Didn’t think much of it. Not long after, it spread to my whole body. Hives everywhere. The itch was unbelievable. Antihistamines got rid of the itch but the hives and eczema were everywhere. I even developed some blisters on my hands. Thought I had bed bugs. Thought I had an allergic reaction to detergent. You name it I tried to think of it. SO here we are 6 months later. I noticed while coffee made them worse, so did eggs and avocado. I went on a strict elimination diet. This helped immensely. Even though turmeric was one of the ‘okayed’ spices I removed it anyway because I never really grew up on it, and I really went back to the very basics. Thought I was in the clear and added turmeric back to my cooking. Boom … back to stage one. Huge allergic reaction like previous. So I now know what I am allergic to! I had my face swell up at some point. My lips. Eyes. One of the worst allergic reactions ever and who would of thought it would be a spice that generally helps allergies and arthritis. So there you go, 6 miserable months later.

I normally consume about 10 gms of turmeric powder a day which I buy by the kilo from an Indian shop. I make a paste with honey, ginger & black pepper & make golden milk with it, which I drink at bedtime.

About six weeks ago I bought a kilo pack, but the brand was different.nI noticed that the texture of the paste was different, but it varies anyway by the batch so I thought nothing of it. First, I broke out in itchy spots under & between my breasts; then I got cracks in the corners of my mouth; then an itchy rash broke out on the inside of my legs & arms.

The doctor prescribed anti-histamines & cream, but as soon as I stopped taking the pills, the hives came back. It has now spread to my face, so I saw another doctor who prescribed another anti-histamine & antibiotic spray & said stop using ALL creams. I just stopped taking the turmeric 2 days ago & found this website while trying not to scratch. I hope this is the answer. I feel like I’m turning into a reptile.

I started taking a turmeric supplement after hearing my coworkers talking about all the benefits. About 7-8 days later I woke up on fire with a rash splattered all over my torso, shoulders, wrists, hands, arch of feet and ankles. My face was swollen with what looked like chigger or mosquito bites. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with scabies. I was given a Benadryl shot and steroid shot and a dose pack to start. I was told to take 100mg of Benedryl every 8 hours. 3 days later I could not see out of my eyes. (I stopped the supplement the 1st day of itching and rash.)

My daughter took me back to the ER. It was then that a Dr. Got me an apt that afternoon with a dermatologist. Definitely an allergy and he said it was from something I’d ingested. More steroids and he added Cyclosporine 100mg twice a day, which is an anti-rejection medication. This went on for 5-6 weeks. I cleared up for 5 days and helped my daughter make deviled eggs. 18 eggs

I knew now to use yellow mustard (turmeric is one of first ingredients) so I added a dollop of Dijon mustard. It had about 17 ingredient, of which last last was tumeric. I ate two deviled eggs (1 egg), and the next morning—Wham! Rash, itching, and fire returned. This, of course thrilled my dermatologist but now I’m just rubbing Benadryl cream on and eating extremely carefully. I understand lots of restaurants are using it to be more natural. Sorry so long but this was my story.

T not I started taking a timer if supplement after hearing my coworkers talking about all the benefits. About 7-8 days later I woke up on fire with a rash splattered all over my torso, shoulders, wrists, hands, arch of feet and ankles. My face was swollen with what looked like chigger or mosquito bites. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with scabies. I was given a Benadryl shot and steroid shot and a dose pack to start. I was told to take 100mg of Benedryl every 8 hours. 3 days later I could not see out of my eyes. (I stopped the supplement the 1st day of itching and rash.) My daughter took me back to the ER. It was then that a Dr. Got me an apt that afternoon with a dermatologist. Definitely an allergy and he said it was from something I’d ingested. More steroids and he added Cyclosporine 100mg twice a day, which is an anti-rejection medication. This went on for 5-6 weeks. I cleared up for 5 days and helped my daughter make deviled eggs. 18 eggs. I knew now to use yello mustard (turmeric is one of first ingredients) so I added a dollop of Dijon mustard. It had about 17 ingredient, of which last last was tumeric. I ate two deviled eggs (1 egg), and the next morning—Wham! Rash, itching, and fire returned. This, of course thrilled my dermatologist but now I’m just rubbing Benadryl cream on and eating extremely carefully. I understand lots of restaurants are using it to be more natural. Sorry so long but this was my story.

This has been so enlightening. Who would have thought a spice—-?

For a year or more I was sprinkling turmeric on my egg in the morning, shaking a bit into soups.
Then read it is good for brain health as well as pain. Never knew ”how much” to use , never knowing if the amount I was using was really doing any good. Thought perhaps I needed more, at least a regulated amount so I purchased 500mg. capsules. Was taking them but not daily, only occasionally.

When I had some serious back pain I took 2 capsules for 2 days. Next day woke with inflamed inside of mouth and blistering, peeling, huge red inflamed, painful, swollen ‘clown ‘ lips. Since I had treated myself to some spicy chips the night before I thought that was the cause.
—-did not make the possible turmeric connection until 3 days ago!

Took me weeks trying to figure out what I had done differently, when the possibility of turmeric came to mind. How surprised to find all these allergic reactions. Been 5 weeks now and my lips are while not blistering, cracking, peeling, inflamed—they are still red and cracking extending about an inch all around.

I am wondering if I have now caused a permanent sensitivity, and how to figure that one out. I stopped taking anything but the regular B’s,D,K,Krill,COQ10 since this happened.
Now wonder if will ever be able to take turmeric again….but definitely not trying any experiment until lips totally cleared up.

Since did not realize any problem when ‘sprinkling’ it on foods–would this be a safe way to get back to taking it because of the goodness of it?
How to tell measures? How many milligrams would 1/8 ,1/4 teaspoon BE?
Thank you to PP for having this information! Now just need advice on measurements and if would be safe to begin again?
Thank you

I have been taking turmeric in a smoothie every morning for the last 2 weeks and am feeling not well at all. I have funny feelings in my chest. It just dawned on me this morning that maybe I was allergic. I thought out my smoothie and took an antihistamine right away and actually feel a little better. I also have asthma and could not understand why it has been out of control for a couple of weeks. It has to be the turmeric. It was the only different thing that I was taking.

I have been taking turmeric pills for about 6 weeks. About 3-4 weeks ago I developed some gastric issues (some frequent, soft stools and a little diarrhea). 3-4 days ago I developed a type of rash, mainly raised bumps on my torso, neck, back with some itching. After reading that turmeric could cause these symptoms, I discontinued its use yesterday. No total improvement, but a little less gastric distress. We’ll see!

I started taking turmeric pill supplements 8 days ago to help with mild join pain. I was taking 2 capsules a day. While it did relieve my joint pain completely, by day 5 I developed small bumps on my buttocks and waist which were very itchy. By day 6 , I was still taking the supplement not realizing yet it was causing my reaction, and those spots turned into hives all over my buttocks and around my hips. I immediately stopped taking it. I was so itchy I had to take a benedryl and used cortisone cream to stop the itching and have been using them for the last two days. I came close to going to the doctor to get a prednisone prescription but was avoiding having to go that far. It’s day 8 now and the hives and itching have subsided considerably, but it’s still not yet completely gone. I recalled all the foods and uses of products of any kind to understand if there was something else which may have caused the allergy but neither had I done nor eaten anything outside of my routine so I’m almost certain it was the turmeric supplements. I’ve eaten turmeric before in food and no issues, but never had it in high concentrations as are in the pills.

Please let me know if stopping the turmeric helped

I bought a very concentrated curcumin supplement. I bought it for urinary/ bladder pain relief. About 45 minutes after I take it my entire body feels cold and I shiver. My feet and hands feel so cold and tingly. My body will feel like the mouth after eating a strong breath mint. Passing urine will hurt more. And I get extremely anxious, a very wound up feeling. I don’t like it.

There is tumeric in some yogurts, and I get red bumps on my torso and arms 20 – 30 minutes after I eat a 6 ounce container of this yogurt..

I start wheezing and get short of breath when I eat foods that have turmeric . I have many allergies and have to be careful. When I eat I make sure I know all the ingredients. So far when I had turmeric in hot water with lemon it affected my breathing and when I eat this yummy soup from whole foods called red lentil bean soup, it is organic and only has a few ingredients and one of them is organic turmeric . I am very sad because I thought turmeric was suppose to be healthy and I love that soup!! I have to use a rescue inhaler for 2 days after consuming! ?

I started taking turmeric for the many health benefits as a prevention supplement. It doesn’t break me out until I take it for several days. I get a rash on my wrists, the back of my hands and inside of my lower arm from drinking the ginger, turmeric tea. I also got a very bad sunburn feeling under my arm pit and across one side of my back that lasted for weeks after taking turmeric capsules. When I stopped taking the supplement, the severity of the burning was less, but the sensation lasted for week or more. I thought it was shingles without the rash, but it was turmeric. I will never take this again.

I’ve been drinking turmeric milk in the morning and at night for about 5 weeks I developed a rash on my left hip and buttocks…I took benedryl and I hope it works..

Thank you for your help

I took tumeric in capsule form and believe it was responsible for a rash. I stopped taking it, and it got better day by day and cleared up in about 10 days. It was miserable and would surface in my armpits, bikini line, neck and even my arms. Warm baths and Cortizone ointment helped. ( I have never suffered from an allergic reaction before taking tumeric)

Started taking Tumeric and itchy spots appeared along with rash in my right armpit. Now my eyes are swollen and itchy, no more Tumeric for me after reading the other remarks. I too look like a monster

Can Turmeric raise blood pressure? It seems like every time I’ve tried turmeric my blood pressure goes up rather than down… would this mean I’m allergic?

After a rotary cuff injury my physical therapist advised me to take two Tumeric with Black Pepper capsules twice in the morning and twice at night. I was excited and purchased a very expensive brand at Whole Foods. The following day I called my physical therapist to cancel my appointment and was certain I had become very unfortunate because I had small red pumps everywhere that looked like Chicken Pox (which I already had as a child) yet I never break out in red bumps that look like bug bites. Was happy to see this post. Will stop the Tumeric today and hope that was the cause.

I have same reaction how long did it take for them to go away?

Hi there I was advised to take turmeric tablets for healing a nasty wound…three days later I am itching all over…and I mean from my toes to my head! I can’t think of any other reason for the itch, and it has inflamed my wound. I will see my doctor today!

I heard good things about Turmeric to help with joint pain and thought I’d give it a try. I took the recommended dose of 2 capsules daily (500 mg each). The first night I woke with an itchy rash around my armpits but didn’t make the connection until the following night when the raised itchy rash started travelling down my arm and onto my torso. I immediately took a Reactine (allergy med) and after an hour the rash subsided. Feel fine now but am staying away from turmeric.

I tried drinking lemon and turmeric tea. I developed an itchy raised rash on the left side of my scalp only. Very itchy and painful, causing my lymph glands to swell. Doctor said I had a scalp infection and gave me prednisone and an antibiotic. Not realizing it was the turmeric I continued to drink the tea.

Of course the rash didn’t get better until I stopped drinking the mix. I only realized it was the tea mix when a few months later I drank it again and within hours started getting a painful sensitivity on my scalp, which is how the last episode started. To my knowledge I’ve never been allergic to anything else. No issues with mustard or ginger.

everytime I apply turmeric to my chin I get rashes on my neck I have applied tenovate and it gets off again it comes in two weeks time what is the reason behind?

It sounds as though you are reacting to the turmeric. We’d suggest not putting it on your chin. Also, be cautious about taking it medicinally, as you might react to that as well.

Made a ginger and turmeric tea by boiling the grated root in water and then straining into a cup. Added a bit of lemon. Drank before bedtime. Woke up with a red rash all over face and neck and swollen puffy eyes and neck! I eat ginger a lot but this is the first time I’ve tried turmeric so I suppose I’m allergic to it also!

every time I take turmeric I get bumps that itch terrible. I thought bug bites. Stopped taking it and tried again and got bite like bumps again. No more! Taking Benadryl. Using Benadryl cream for itch. Dr. Thought it was scabies. I was horrified. I would rather it be allergic reaction but it still is horrible itchy. So be aware you can be allergic to it.

I got 8 bug bite looking bumps on my arm. After considering what caused it (bugs, cleaning products) I finally realized I had taken a turmeric the other day. Are your bumps only on one part of your body? If so I can stop worrying, I figured if it’s related to turmeric I should be covered from head to toe, the fact that only one arm was affected made me believe I was bitten but if others experienced the same as me, well I would believe turmeric did this. Let me know please.

Okay my right eye has swollen up and I have a rash. Also I had a little pimple on my face and it just keeps bleeding. I believe it’s the Turmeric. Since I’ve only taken this for 3 days and “bam” this happened.

I’m going to take Benadryl for the swelling and rash on my eye area since I look like a Monster right now. And I will not take digest the Turmeric and see if it goes away.

VERY interesting… Was taking a lot of curcumin…developed an odd (for me) sort of rash hives…am working on it, ..glad to see this report!

If turmeric causes these problems, what can we take for alzheimer’s to prevent it?


Supposing the problem was the capsules? It isn’t unusual to find that plant substances put into capsule form are frequently of poor quality, even composed of the wrong actual plant or plant variety.
In India, where turmeric use originated, people don’t drink it in drinks, they don’t take take it in capsules, they use it as a food spice and they cook it. Very different absorption method. Is that our problem over here?

That is not necessarily true. I have friends who are native from India and they make and drink Tumeric milk regularly.

You’re correct–quality is the key! When the independent laboratory, ConsumerLab, tested various brands of spices, in the cheaper brands, they found mites, rodent hair, beetle fragments, and field insect fragments. The fact that they also test for contamination limits for lead, cadmium, arsenic, and salmonella, there must be a possibility that spices may contain those, too. And I suspect that many people may be more allergic to one or more of those contaminants than they are to turmeric. When people tell me about an unusual problem they had with a supplement they took, my first question is “What brand did you take?” and 9 times out of 10, it was the cheapest brand that they found at the grocery store or big box store.

I had an allergic response to turmeric. I had a rash on my hands and arms. I stopped taking it and the rash went away. I have tried it again with the same result. I can consume it in food without any problems.

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^